• Arts and Literature,  General,  World View

    Scottish Catholic Magazine

    For many years, the Catholics of Scotland had access to a national Catholic newspaper and from time to time across the years, I wrote the odd article which they printed. The pandemic and all that came with it proved to be the death of that newspaper, which was sold primarily through parishes across Scotland – and of course, the lockdown meant these all closed for a very long period. Consequently, I was delighted some time go to learn that we were to have a new national publication, to be called ‘The Scottish Catholic’. Perhaps best of all, in my view, was that this would be a monthly publication in magazine…

  • General

    Taking Them Down

    It had to be done – in fact, I am a few days late in doing it. Well, more than a few days. I have finally taken down the Christmas cards.  At Christmas, I don’t use decorations nor even a tree – only the Christmas cards and a large Icon of the Blessed Virgin and Child, which is prominently placed in the living room throughout the Christmas season, with a little votive lamping burning there before it every day. The Icon moved back to it’s usual place on the bookshelf on the appointed day, but the cards stayed where they were. I watched as some of the neighbours took down…

  • Faith and Life,  General

    An Outward-Looking Faith

    In 2015, the Holy Father Pope Francis wrote his beautiful Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee of Mercy, entitled ‘Misericordiae Vultus’ (The Face of Mercy). The opening line of the document summarised all that would follow – “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy”. He concluded the document with these words – “May the Church echo the Word of God.. may she never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort.” Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy Now, in order to fulfil this hope, this essential mission, in a way that is both authentic and effective, the Church needs to look…

  • Faith and Life,  General

    Where Is God?

    A young couple had a teenaged daughter who was dying of a rare and incurable illness. Receiving the news of the diagnosis, the mother asked herself – “where is God?”. The father was simply numb. The daughter knew she needed a little time to get used to this news. Time passed and the girl began to deteriorate. To begin with, her friends visited often, while she was still reasonably well and still looked like the girl they knew. At that time, the news of her eventual death seemed so unreal – she looked so well! As things began to change, the visits began to slow and some friends gradually fell…

  • Faith and Life,  General,  World View

    We Are What We Think

    We easily become a mouthpiece of the information we imbibe, whether for good or for ill. You could say that we become what we think – and what we think is determined by that which we read, or watch, or listen to. And for this reason, there is a need to curate the internalisation of that information very carefully indeed. If you don’t believe this, listen carefully to the general conversation of younger people. Notice how much of the language and the phrasing is shared amongst them – where do you suppose that language comes from? Or read any particular newspaper for a week – by that point you will…